In Texas, electrical power-line installers and repairers earn a median salary of $72,510 a year. (Photo courtesy of Southwestern Electric Power Co.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – The Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s Marshall campus trains an average of 100 graduates a year to help restore power after storms like the ones that swept through East Texas in May. 

“It seemed like every time we’d get repaired and ready to have some normal weather, we’d get hit by another round of weather,” Mark Robinson, an external affairs manager for Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), recently said. 

Greenville resident Colt Kimbrough started an internship with Farmers Electric Cooperative after graduating from TSTC in 2023. He said the recent storms provided him with extra training, requiring him to work with a new team and a new system every day.

“I would definitely say that the worst I’ve seen is when we helped Bowie and Cass (counties), where it went far east near Mount Vernon and Mount Pleasant,” Kimbrough said. “It looked like a tornado came through and crossed the entire area.”

Kimbrough said he keeps his TSTC education in mind to help him stay safe in the field. He recommends that future TSTC graduates find jobs with companies that travel for storms to help them increase their knowledge.

Marshall campus graduate Ryan Hall has worked for SWEPCO for almost 11 years. During the late spring storms, he worked everything from floods to a two-day power outage in his own home.

“The worst I saw was probably around the Henderson and Carthage area,” Hall said. “There were lots of trees uprooted everywhere, a few trees on houses and broken poles everywhere you looked.”

Hall recommends that East Texas residents pay attention to the weather and stock up on supplies if another storm is forecast.

“East Texas is full of big trees, and when a storm comes through, there’s going to be trees that fall and tear stuff up,” Hall said.

SWEPCO has hired many TSTC graduates and donated equipment and money to the college. Robinson, who serves on the board of The TSTC Foundation, said he saw TSTC graduates take on leadership roles to clean up after the recent storms.

“Our partnership with TSTC has been phenomenal,” Robinson said. “Anybody who hires someone from TSTC should be getting the highest quality employee.”

According to, electrical power-line installers and repairers earn a median salary of $72,510 a year in Texas. The website projected that there would be a 24% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at the Abilene, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses. The program is one of nine Money-Back Guarantee programs in which tuition is refunded if a participating graduate has not found employment in their field of study within six months of graduation.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information on TSTC, go to

64811746 4FD6 4537 A6AE 4BC37BD87B16 1 105 c - Recent East Texas storms put Electrical Lineworker graduates to the test
Southwestern Electric Power Co. journeymen linemen clean up after recent storms in East Texas left almost 150,000 residents without power. (Photo courtesy of Southwestern Electric Power Co.)
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